Judge that book by its cover

Posted on Mar 29, 2007

So the other day my wife, Sarah, was buying Christmas presents on Amazon.com. When she went to check out she was offered am Amazon.com Visa card and automatically get $30 back. So the order would have in a sense been free. So Sarah applied, filled out the application and was approved. However when she went to check out it was not an option of payment nor was she given a number to use. The offer of applying for an Amazon.com Visa card was still at the top of the screen.

This is a poor way of getting people to sign up for a credit card. It leads you to believe that you will be saving money and then it ends up not saving you anything. It seems to me that if they wanted to make this card available with and immediate savings, then it would make sense. However since you get the $30 after you make your first purchase, which isn’t your current transaction, I find it to be misleading and frustrating.
Other issues with Amazon.com are quite simple. I think that I would enjoy shopping at Amazon.com more if I was allowed to pick which categories I was interested in. I pretty much shop online for books, DVDs and electronics. Other then that I don’t care. I hate when I go to the Amazon.com homepage and find recommendations for kitchen gadgets or clothes. I wish I could set up a custom homepage, or even just put something in my account that says “recommend these things” and poof I would have the recommendations I needed. The main reason I think that this would be beneficial to Amazon.com because it would alleviate what I find to be a very frustrating shopping process. I want to go to an eCommerce site and find what I want easily, I want the options to be minimal.

I understand that Amazon.com is a huge company and it sells everything, however, if you where able to create a custom homepage\recommendation page a la the Google Homepage, I think that it would allow people to find things that they want quickly. Also as with the Ellusionist.com website, I wish that Amazon would make it so there where fewer steps to check out. Since they feel the need to try and get that last impulse buy, they place a page full of recommendations prior to letting you finishing your order.

Another thing that could use some help is the fact that when you are logged in it always asks to confirm your log-in prior to purchasing, I have no problem with needing to confirm my information so others can’t order stuff on my saved credit cards, I would like it more if the log-in itself wasn’t a whole screen, rather a flashing of color highlighting the need for a password. This would allow you to enter it and not have to wait for another screen to load. Also I would think that this would further help prevent any security vulnerability since it would be harder to recreate the content that the person ordered and the amazon generated recommendations then to recreate the generic log-in page.